Now that winter is upon us, for many that means dry, itchy, flaky skin that lasts until the weather warms up. Because dry winter skin is such a common problem, it has been given the name “the winter itch,” and those that suffer from it want relief, fast. However, just running out to the store to buy lotion most likely won’t cure your winter skin! Store-bought lotions can be costly, full of chemicals, and often will leave your skin feeling dry just half an hour after applying! There are several natural alternatives to remedy dry skin that are probably already in your kitchen cupboards! And remember, fighting the winter itch doesn’t just stop at the moisturizing stage. There are a number of things to remember in order to keep your skin soft and radiant this winter; take a look at these natural homemade recipes and winter skin care tips to prevent dry skin all winter long.
The most important step to fighting dry skin is the obvious – moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Using natural ingredients, such as the following, will give you the best, long-lasting results, and leave your skin soft and supple. Another tip: use a humidifier in your bedroom to combat cold, dry winter air and indoor heat, which removes moisture from the air.
Olive oil is one of the most useful ingredients when it comes to treating dry skin, and is often found in store-bought moisturizers. Packed with antioxidants and free of added chemicals and dyes, olive oil can repair cracked, flaky skin, and help prevent any further drying. Just soak a cotton ball in the oil, apply to any dry patches of skin, and rinse off after letting it sit for a few minutes. To really amp up the moisturizing and cleansing properties of the oil, drape a warm, damp cloth over your face after applying the oil, and rinse off after the cloth has cooled.
Coconut oil is the most versatile, good-for-everything ingredient. There is really no wrong way to use coconut oil for moisturizing dry skin –lather it right onto the skin, apply it only to problem areas (like hands, elbows, knees, and feet), or even add a few dollops to your bath for soothing, silky results. An important tip when it comes to your shower or bath during the winter months: hot water can dry out your skin even more, so instead of cranking up the temperature, try to keep it at level that is comfortably warm.
Honey is full of antioxidants, antibacterials, and moisturizing properties. It can be used as a spot treatment for any rough, dry patches of skin; massage gently into the skin, let sit for two or three minutes, and rinse!
Exfoliation becomes even more crucial during the winter months, when the cold air starts making your skin flaky and your complexion rough and uneven. Removing that excess skin will reveal fresh, glowing skin underneath. Try incorporating dry brushing into your routine before a shower, and use natural exfoliants to slough off dry skin. An oatmeal honey mask (2 tablespoons oats mixed with 1 tablespoon honey and a splash of water) or an olive oil and sugar scrub (1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil) are great natural options to gently smooth skin.
Hydration & Diet
Even though the hot summer months are gone, keeping hydrated is extremely important during the winter months to prevent dry skin. Drinking water will help your skin moisturize from the inside out!
Diet also plays a crucial role in healthy, supple skin. Eat lots of fruits and veggies to boost your skin’s health and prevent dry, itchy skin.
Winter months call for warmer, thicker fabrics, like wools and heavy cottons. Unfortunately, while these fabrics are sure to keep the chill away, they also can be irritating to the skin. Be sure to add a few layers of softer fabrics directly against your skin, like camis or long sleeve t-shirts, to act as a barrier between the more abrasive clothing.